Lockdown through the eyes of our Oaklea children....
It has been so interesting hearing views from the children about their experiences. We asked our Oaklea children about lockdown....."It was crazy really!"
Back at the end of March 2020, Oaklea like many other nurseries had to suddenly close. Not only for parents and staff, the children were also confused and were suddenly spending all their time at home.
Others told us,
"...I missed my friends at nursery.
...I played games with Daddy.
...I played with lego stuff, because the nasty bug was here.
...Nursery and parks were closed because of the coronavirus.
...My sister went to school.
...It was the bugs, I don’t go out much.
...I sometimes go to the butcher’s with Daddy on Saturday.
...Well I did drawing, I sometimes train set and what else I did, grew tomatoes, the tomatoes are big, they haven’t got the tiny flowers yet.
...Watch tele, Paw Patrol
...Painting with Mummy
...Daddy was working in library. He works on his computer.
...My Daddy goes to work normally and I played.
...We couldn't come to nursery cause it was closed, I played with marbles then relaxed with Daddy but luckily I came back to see my friend's
...My Mummy makes a mask for Daddy and she’s making mine."
Our nursery teams aimed to be a presence for the children and their families during these strange times. They made phone calls to families, as well as helping to entertain the children on the Oaklea Facebook pages. These posts included suggested activities; singing our favourite nursery rhymes and reading familiar stories. Oaklea had some lovely comments came back from the parents telling us this was their “child’s favourite book” and “oh my child sings that song all the time”. The children also made lovely rainbow pictures for key workers and sent a message to each other saying “We miss our friends and teachers at Oaklea and hope to see you soon”. (You can see these on our Facebook pages, just scroll through our photos!)
"...Me and made mummy made things, we have a little book of things we can do, so like, you have to get the colours of a rainbow, you pour on the paper, orange yellow, green and blue and purple and then when we let it to dry, we put it up in our bedroom. It was on the window."
Messages started to arrive from parents that their child had asked for their own pictures or videos to be shared with their friends on our social media. It was wonderful to share a story read by Mum and her son who joined in with familiar phrases, a child who gave us a make-up tutorial and the rainbow song sang beautifully by another family.
We were delighted to see photos and videos via our Parentzone app. One child left small gifts outside for her postman and quite a few of our Oaklea children became big brothers or sisters!
At Oaklea, we wanted the children to feel that not much had changed, so we would ask them what felt different around them. "...Where’s ….? (naming their friends)"
They also noticed that not all the activities were out on the shelves for them and asked about items like playdough. They soon followed the new visuals that were in place to promote personal hygiene, such as blowing their nose, tissues in the bin and washing hands afterwards. The children picked up the new routine quickly and we saw new friendships blossom. Children were expressing how they were feeling through role play and craft, with a key worker’s child naming his drawing as the ‘coronavirus’.
One parent told us that her son "took lock down very seriously and still takes it upon himself to declare that various places and things are on lockdown. My (not) favourite was him deciding that our bathroom was on lockdown because of the bad bug and no one could go in until it had been cleaned. When I asked him how I could clean it if I can't go in, he told me the people in charge (what we call the government) had to do it. Glad he understood all I'd told him but not a discussion I wanted whilst busting for a wee!"
June came and we were able to welcome more children into the nursery. A child who had been at Oaklea since the beginning of lockdown, confidently demonstrated to others how to wash their hands, telling them "like this, to get rid of all the germs".
It has been lovely to not only to see the children's happy faces, but to hear them tell us,
"I love all the nursery and I’m happy as well playing with my friends."
Come back to read our next Oaklea blog soon...